Sources tell Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan that the Rangers have no plans to call up Manny Ramirez, even with regular designated hitter Lance Berkman making little progress with his leg problems and weighing retirement.
Ramirez went 1-for-4 on Thursday and is hitting .250/.318/.417 with three homers in 15 games for Triple-A Round Rock as he attempts a major league comeback after playing in Taiwan earlier this season.
“This isn’t Manny Ramirez,” a scout told Passan. “This is a 41-year-old still trying to play baseball and not doing it very well.”
At least, he’s not doing it very well two-thirds of the time. Ramirez has actually destroyed left-handers so far, hitting all three of his homers off them. He’s 7-for-21 against southpaws, compared to 8-for-39 with just one extra-base hit (a double) against righties.
But even if Manny could still hit lefties in the majors, there just isn’t much room for platoon DHs on teams with 12-man pitching staffs. The Rangers probably won’t give him a look unless they think he can handle a bigger role.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.